Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The world is fascinated with life after death. People spend thousands of dollars consulting psychics, trying to get a message from someone who has died. In 1 Samuel 28 and John 11, two men came back from the dead and had a great impact on those around them. In the first passage, Samuel gave Saul a verdict of judgment and eternal death, reminding us of the reality of eternal punishment. In the second passage, Lazarus's resurrection gave glory to Jesus, reminding us of the believer's glorious future.

Every one of us will face the reality of death. We will hear either a final judgment of condemnation for our sin or a message of joy and resurrection life from the Author of Life. Although the world is fascinated with spiritism and contacting the dead, we know that the end of such pursuit is eternal death and judgment. As Christians, however, we understand that Jesus has conquered death, for John 11:25 says,

"Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again."

Rest secure today in your future after the grave, for He who is the Resurrection and the Life will be waiting for you on the other side!

1 Samuel 26:1-28:25

David Again Spares Saul’s Life

26 The Ziphites1Sa 23:19 went to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Is not David hidingPs 54 Title on the hill of Hakilah, which faces Jeshimon?1Sa 23:24

So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph, with his three thousand select Israelite troops, to search1Sa 24:2 there for David.Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah1Sa 23:19 facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul had followed him there,he sent out scouts and learned that Saul had definitely arrived.

Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner1Sa 17:55 son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army encamped around him.

David then asked Ahimelek the HittiteS Ge 10:15 and Abishai2Sa 2:18; 10:10; 16:9; 18:2; 19:21; 23:18; 1Ch 11:20; 19:11 son of Zeruiah,1Ch 2:16 Joab’s brother, “Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?”

“I’ll go with you,” said Abishai.

So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.

Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”

But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointedver 16; S Ge 26:11; S 1Sa 9:16; 2Sa 1:14; 19:21; La 4:20 and be guiltless?S 1Sa 24:510 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strikeS Ge 16:5; S 1Sa 25:38; S Ro 12:19 him, or his timeDt 31:14; Ps 37:13 will come and he will die,1Sa 31:6; 2Sa 1:1 or he will go into battle and perish.11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”

12 So David took the spear and water jug near Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone wake up. They were all sleeping, because the Lord had put them into a deep sleep.S Jdg 4:21

13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away; there was a wide space between them.14 He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Aren’t you going to answer me, Abner?”

Abner replied, “Who are you who calls to the king?”

15 David said, “You’re a man, aren’t you? And who is like you in Israel? Why didn’t you guard your lord the king? Someone came to destroy your lord the king.16 What you have done is not good. As surely as the Lord lives, you and your men must die, because you did not guard your master, the Lord’s anointed. Look around you. Where are the king’s spear and water jug that were near his head?”

17 Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is that your voice,1Sa 24:16 David my son?”

David replied, “Yes it is, my lord the king.”18 And he added, “Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done, and what wrongJob 13:23; Jer 37:18 am I guilty of?19 Now let my lord the king listen1Sa 24:9 to his servant’s words. If the Lord has incited you against me, then may he accept an offering.2Sa 16:11 If, however, people have done it, may they be cursed before the Lord! They have driven me today from my share in the Lord’s inheritanceDt 20:16; 32:9; 2Sa 14:16; 20:19; 21:3 and have said, ‘Go, serve other gods.’S Dt 4:28; S 11:2820 Now do not let my bloodS 1Sa 24:11 fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord. The king of Israel has come out to look for a flea1Sa 24:14—as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.Jer 4:29; 16:16; Am 9:3

21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned.S Ex 9:27 Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life preciousPs 72:14 today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.”

22 “Here is the king’s spear,” David answered. “Let one of your young men come over and get it.23 The Lord rewardsS Ge 16:5; S Ru 2:12; Ps 62:12 everyone for their righteousness2Sa 22:21, 25; Ps 7:8; 18:20, 24 and faithfulness. The Lord delivered1Sa 24:18 you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed.24 As surely as I valued your life today, so may the Lord value my life and deliverPs 54:7 me from all trouble.”

25 Then Saul said to David, “May you be blessed,S Ru 2:12 David my son; you will do great things and surely triumph.”

So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.

David Among the Philistines

27 But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”

So David and the six hundred men1Sa 30:9; 2Sa 2:3 with him left and wentS 1Sa 21:10 over to Achish1Ki 2:39 son of Maok king of Gath.David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives:S 1Sa 25:43 Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal.When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.

Then David said to Achish, “If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of the country towns, that I may live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?”

So on that day Achish gave him Ziklag,Jos 15:31; 19:5; 1Sa 30:1; 1Ch 12:20; Ne 11:28 and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since.David lived1Sa 29:3 in Philistine territory a year and four months.

Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites,S Jos 12:5 the Girzites and the Amalekites.S Ex 17:14; S 1Sa 14:48; 30:1; 2Sa 1:8; 8:12 (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to ShurS Ge 16:7 and Egypt.)Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive,S 1Sa 15:3 but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.

10 When Achish asked, “Where did you go raiding today?” David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah” or “Against the Negev of Jerahmeel1Sa 30:29” or “Against the Negev of the Kenites.Jdg 1:1611 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, “They might inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory.12 Achish trusted David and said to himself, “He has become so obnoxiousS Ge 34:30 to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant for life.1Sa 29:6

28 In those days the Philistines gathered1Sa 29:1 their forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me in the army.”

David said, “Then you will see for yourself what your servant can do.”

Achish replied, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard1Sa 29:2 for life.”

Saul and the Medium at Endor

Now Samuel was dead,1Sa 25:1 and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah.S 1Sa 7:17 Saul had expelledver 9 the mediums and spiritistsS Ex 22:18 from the land.

The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem,S Jos 19:18 while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa.1Sa 31:1, 3; 2Sa 1:6, 21; 21:12When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terrorS Ex 19:16 filled his heart.He inquiredS 1Sa 8:18; 14:37 of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreamsS Dt 13:3 or UrimS Ex 28:30; S Lev 8:8 or prophets.Eze 20:3; Am 8:11; Mic 3:7Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium,1Ch 10:13; Ac 16:16 so I may go and inquire of her.”

“There is one in Endor,Jos 17:11; Ps 83:10” they said.

So Saul disguised1Ki 22:30; 2Ch 18:29; 35:22 himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult2Ki 1:3; Isa 8:19 a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”

But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut offver 3 the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trapJob 18:10; Ps 31:4; 69:22; Isa 8:14 for my life to bring about my death?”

10 Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.”

11 Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

“Bring up Samuel,” he said.

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me?S Ge 27:36; 1Ki 14:6 You are Saul!”

13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

The woman said, “I see a ghostly figureOr see spirits; or see gods coming up out of the earth.”ver 15; S Lev 19:31; 2Ch 33:6

14 “What does he look like?” he asked.

“An old man wearing a robe1Sa 15:27 is coming up,” she said.

Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

“I am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departedS Jdg 16:20 from me. He no longer answersS 1Sa 14:37 me, either by prophets or by dreams.S Dt 13:3 So I have called on you to tell me what to do.”

16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy?17 The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn1Sa 15:28 the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David.18 Because you did not obey1Sa 15:20 the Lord or carry out his fierce wrathS Dt 9:8; S 1Sa 15:3 against the Amalekites,S Ge 14:7; S 1Sa 14:48 the Lord has done this to you today.19 The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons1Sa 31:2; 1Ch 8:33 will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.”

20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and all that night.

21 When the woman came to Saul and saw that he was greatly shaken, she said, “Look, your servant has obeyed you. I took my lifeS Jdg 9:17; S 12:3 in my hands and did what you told me to do.22 Now please listen to your servant and let me give you some food so you may eat and have the strength to go on your way.”

23 He refused1Ki 21:4 and said, “I will not eat.”

But his men joined the woman in urging him, and he listened to them. He got up from the ground and sat on the couch.

24 The woman had a fattened calfS Ge 18:7 at the house, which she butchered at once. She took some flour, kneaded it and baked bread without yeast.25 Then she set it before Saul and his men, and they ate. That same night they got up and left.

David Spares Saul Again

26 Now some men from Ziph came to Saul at Gibeah to tell him, “David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which overlooks Jeshimon.”

So Saul took 3,000 of Israel’s elite troops and went to hunt him down in the wilderness of Ziph.Saul camped along the road beside the hill of Hakilah, near Jeshimon, where David was hiding. When David learned that Saul had come after him into the wilderness,he sent out spies to verify the report of Saul’s arrival.

David slipped over to Saul’s camp one night to look around. Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of his army, were sleeping inside a ring formed by the slumbering warriors.“Who will volunteer to go in there with me?” David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother.

“I’ll go with you,” Abishai replied.So David and Abishai went right into Saul’s camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him.

“God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!” Abishai whispered to David. “Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!”

“No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the Lord’s anointed one?10 Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle.11 The Lord forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let’s get out of here!”

12 So David took the spear and jug of water that were near Saul’s head. Then he and Abishai got away without anyone seeing them or even waking up, because the Lord had put Saul’s men into a deep sleep.

13 David climbed the hill opposite the camp until he was at a safe distance.14 Then he shouted down to the soldiers and to Abner son of Ner, “Wake up, Abner!”

“Who is it?” Abner demanded.

15 “Well, Abner, you’re a great man, aren’t you?” David taunted. “Where in all Israel is there anyone as mighty? So why haven’t you guarded your master the king when someone came to kill him?16 This isn’t good at all! I swear by the Lord that you and your men deserve to die, because you failed to protect your master, the Lord’s anointed! Look around! Where are the king’s spear and the jug of water that were beside his head?”

17 Saul recognized David’s voice and called out, “Is that you, my son David?”

And David replied, “Yes, my lord the king.18 Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime?19 But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the Lord has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the Lord. For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the Lord’s people, and they have said, ‘Go, worship pagan gods.’20 Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the Lord? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?”

21 Then Saul confessed, “I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong.”

22 “Here is your spear, O king,” David replied. “Let one of your young men come over and get it.23 The Lord gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the Lord placed you in my power, for you are the Lord’s anointed one.24 Now may the Lord value my life, even as I have valued yours today. May he rescue me from all my troubles.”

25 And Saul said to David, “Blessings on you, my son David. You will do many heroic deeds, and you will surely succeed.” Then David went away, and Saul returned home.

David among the Philistines

27 But David kept thinking to himself, “Someday Saul is going to get me. The best thing I can do is escape to the Philistines. Then Saul will stop hunting for me in Israelite territory, and I will finally be safe.”

So David took his 600 men and went over and joined Achish son of Maoch, the king of Gath.David and his men and their families settled there with Achish at Gath. David brought his two wives along with him—Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, Nabal’s widow from Carmel.Word soon reached Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he stopped hunting for him.

One day David said to Achish, “If it is all right with you, we would rather live in one of the country towns instead of here in the royal city.”

So Achish gave him the town of Ziklag (which still belongs to the kings of Judah to this day),and they lived there among the Philistines for a year and four months.

David and his men spent their time raiding the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites—people who had lived near Shur, toward the land of Egypt, since ancient times.David did not leave one person alive in the villages he attacked. He took the sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing before returning home to see King Achish.

10 “Where did you make your raid today?” Achish would ask.

And David would reply, “Against the south of Judah, the Jerahmeelites, and the Kenites.”

11 No one was left alive to come to Gath and tell where he had really been. This happened again and again while he was living among the Philistines.12 Achish believed David and thought to himself, “By now the people of Israel must hate him bitterly. Now he will have to stay here and serve me forever!”

Saul Consults a Medium

28 About that time the Philistines mustered their armies for another war with Israel. King Achish told David, “You and your men will be expected to join me in battle.”

“Very well!” David agreed. “Now you will see for yourself what we can do.”

Then Achish told David, “I will make you my personal bodyguard for life.”

Meanwhile, Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him. He was buried in Ramah, his hometown. And Saul had banned from the land of Israel all mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead.

The Philistines set up their camp at Shunem, and Saul gathered all the army of Israel and camped at Gilboa.When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, he became frantic with fear.He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lotsHebrew by Urim. or by the prophets.Saul then said to his advisers, “Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.”

His advisers replied, “There is a medium at Endor.”

So Saul disguised himself by wearing ordinary clothing instead of his royal robes. Then he went to the woman’s home at night, accompanied by two of his men.

“I have to talk to a man who has died,” he said. “Will you call up his spirit for me?”

“Are you trying to get me killed?” the woman demanded. “You know that Saul has outlawed all the mediums and all who consult the spirits of the dead. Why are you setting a trap for me?”

10 But Saul took an oath in the name of the Lord and promised, “As surely as the Lord lives, nothing bad will happen to you for doing this.”

11 Finally, the woman said, “Well, whose spirit do you want me to call up?”

“Call up Samuel,” Saul replied.

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed, “You’ve deceived me! You are Saul!”

13 “Don’t be afraid!” the king told her. “What do you see?”

“I see a godOr gods. coming up out of the earth,” she said.

14 “What does he look like?” Saul asked.

“He is an old man wrapped in a robe,” she replied. Saul realized it was Samuel, and he fell to the ground before him.

15 “Why have you disturbed me by calling me back?” Samuel asked Saul.

“Because I am in deep trouble,” Saul replied. “The Philistines are at war with me, and God has left me and won’t reply by prophets or dreams. So I have called for you to tell me what to do.”

16 But Samuel replied, “Why ask me, since the Lord has left you and has become your enemy?17 The Lord has done just as he said he would. He has torn the kingdom from you and given it to your rival, David.18 The Lord has done this to you today because you refused to carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites.19 What’s more, the Lord will hand you and the army of Israel over to the Philistines tomorrow, and you and your sons will be here with me. The Lord will bring down the entire army of Israel in defeat.”

20 Saul fell full length on the ground, paralyzed with fright because of Samuel’s words. He was also faint with hunger, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night.

21 When the woman saw how distraught he was, she said, “Sir, I obeyed your command at the risk of my life.22 Now do what I say, and let me give you a little something to eat so you can regain your strength for the trip back.”

23 But Saul refused to eat anything. Then his advisers joined the woman in urging him to eat, so he finally yielded and got up from the ground and sat on the couch.

24 The woman had been fattening a calf, so she hurried out and killed it. She took some flour, kneaded it into dough and baked unleavened bread.25 She brought the meal to Saul and his advisers, and they ate it. Then they went out into the night.

26 And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?

Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.

David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.

And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.

Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.

So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.

Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.

And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless?

10 David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.

11 The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.

12 So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.

13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:

14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king?

15 And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.

16 This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the Lord liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the Lord's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.

17 And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.

18 And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?

19 Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the Lord have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the Lord; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Go, serve other gods.

20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.

21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

22 And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.

23 The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed.

24 And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the Lord, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.

25 Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

27 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.

And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.

And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.

And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.

And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.

And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt.

And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.

10 And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites.

11 And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.

12 And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.

28 And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men.

And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head for ever.

Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.

And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa.

And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.

And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?

10 And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.

12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?

17 And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:

18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.

19 Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

20 Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

21 And the woman came unto Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto him, Behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have hearkened unto thy words which thou spakest unto me.

22 Now therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also unto the voice of thine handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before thee; and eat, that thou mayest have strength, when thou goest on thy way.

23 But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed.

24 And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread thereof:

25 And she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat. Then they rose up, and went away that night.

John 11:1-54

The Death of Lazarus

11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany,S Mt 21:17 the village of Mary and her sister Martha.Lk 10:38(This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)Mk 14:3; Lk 7:38; Jn 12:3So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you lovever 5, 36 is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s gloryver 40 so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”Jn 10:40

“But Rabbi,”S Mt 23:7 they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you,Jn 8:59; 10:31 and yet you are going back?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light.Jn 9:4; 12:3510 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friendver 3 Lazarus has fallen asleep;S Mt 9:24 but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.Mt 9:24

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then ThomasMt 10:3; Jn 14:5; 20:24-28; 21:2; Ac 1:13 (also known as DidymusThomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) both mean twin.) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.ver 6, 3918 Now Bethanyver 1; S Mt 21:17 was less than two milesOr about 3 kilometers from Jerusalem,19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.ver 31; Job 2:1120 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.Lk 10:38-42

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.ver 32, 3722 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”ver 41, 42

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrectionDa 12:2; Jn 5:28, 29; Ac 24:15 at the last day.”Jn 6:39, 40

25 Jesus said to her, “I amS Jn 6:35 the resurrection and the life.S Jn 1:4 The one who believesS Jn 3:15 in me will live, even though they die;26 and whoever lives by believingS Jn 3:15 in me will never die.S Mt 25:46 Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah,S Lk 2:11 the Son of God,S Mt 4:3 who is to come into the world.”Jn 6:14

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The TeacherMt 26:18; Jn 13:13 is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.ver 2031 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her,ver 19 noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”ver 21

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply movedver 38 in spirit and troubled.S Jn 12:2734 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.Lk 19:41

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”ver 3

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind manJn 9:6, 7 have kept this man from dying?”ver 21, 32

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved,ver 33 came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.Mt 27:60; Lk 24:2; Jn 20:139 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”ver 17

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe,ver 23-25 you will see the glory of God?”ver 4

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked upJn 17:1 and said, “Father,S Mt 11:25 I thank you that you have heard me.42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here,Jn 12:30 that they may believe that you sent me.”S Jn 3:17

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”S Lk 7:1444 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen,Jn 19:40 and a cloth around his face.Jn 20:7

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

The Plot to Kill Jesus

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary,ver 19 and had seen what Jesus did,Jn 2:23 believed in him.Ex 14:31; S Jn 7:3146 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.47 Then the chief priests and the Phariseesver 57 called a meetingMt 26:3 of the Sanhedrin.S Mt 5:22

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs.S Jn 2:1148 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas,S Mt 26:3 who was high priest that year,ver 51; Jn 18:13, 14 spoke up, “You know nothing at all!50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”Jn 18:14

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation,52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.Isa 49:6; Jn 10:1653 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.S Mt 12:14

54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea.Jn 7:1 Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

The Raising of Lazarus

11 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha.This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair.This incident is recorded in chapter 12. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick.So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”

But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus,he stayed where he was for the next two days.Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”

But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the peopleGreek Jewish people; also in 11:19, 31, 33, 36, 45, 54. in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”

Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world.10 But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.”11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”

12 The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!”13 They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.

14 So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”

16 Thomas, nicknamed the Twin,Greek Thomas, who was called Didymus. said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”

17 When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days.18 Bethany was only a few milesGreek was about 15 stadia [about 2.8 kilometers]. down the road from Jerusalem,19 and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss.20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house.21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”

25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life.Some manuscripts do not include and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”28 Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.”29 So Mary immediately went to him.

30 Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him.31 When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there.32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him,Or he was angry in his spirit. and he was deeply troubled.34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.”35 Then Jesus wept.36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!”37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance.39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me.42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

The Plot to Kill Jesus

45 Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.46 But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.47 Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high councilGreek the Sanhedrin. together. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs.48 If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our TempleOr our position; Greek reads our place. and our nation.”

49 Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time,Greek that year; also in 11:51. said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about!50 You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”

51 He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation.52 And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world.

53 So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death.54 As a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim, and stayed there with his disciples.

11 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:

19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.

32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.

34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

Psalm 117:1-2

Psalm 117

Praise the Lord,S Ps 22:23; S 103:2 all you nations;Ro 15:11*

extol him, all you peoples.

For great is his loveS Ps 17:7; S 103:11 toward us,

and the faithfulness of the LordPs 119:90; 146:6 endures forever.

Praise the Lord.Hebrew Hallelu Yah

Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all you nations.

Praise him, all you people of the earth.

For his unfailing love for us is powerful;

the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.

Praise the Lord!

117 O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.

For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.

Proverbs 15:22-23

22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,S Ps 16:7

but with many advisers1Ki 1:12; Pr 24:6 they succeed.S Pr 11:14

23 A person finds joy in giving an apt replyS Pr 12:14

and how good is a timely word!Pr 25:11

22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice;

many advisers bring success.

23 Everyone enjoys a fitting reply;

it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!

22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

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